Suffering from an Eating Disorder is an overwhelming and isolating experience, however I believe full recovery is possible. Eating Disorders such as Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating Disorder, can cause severe physical, emotional, and psychological problems if individuals do not seek treatment. While eating disorders have different presentations, a few common signs of eating disorders include an intense preoccupation with food, weight, and body image. Loved one's often believe that Eating Disorders are "just about the food", however the struggle with food and body image is a survival tool to mask deep emotional pain. Eating disorders often co-occur with Mood Disorders such as, Anxiety Disorders, Depressive Disorders (MDD, Dysthymia, etc.), PTSD, OCD, self harm, and/or Substance Abuse Disorders. The secrecy and shame centered around food, behaviors, and body preoccupation often delay a client’s willingness to obtain treatment and stay in recovery.
The root cause of Eating Disorders are unknown, however many believe that a variety of environmental, biological and social factors can lead to the onset of an eating disorder. Scientific literature has identified the following as risk factors to Eating Disorders: perfectionistic temperament, genetic predisposition, history of dieting (self or family), historical or present trauma (childhood trauma, sexual abuse, physical abuse, emotional abuse, etc.), familial history of disordered eating, insecure attachment styles, weight stigma, bullying, and social pressure to achieve an ‘ideal’ physical appearance.
The prevalence of eating disorders, body image issues, exercise-addiction, and disordered eating patterns and behaviors has continued to rise exponentially throughout all age groups, socioeconomic backgrounds, races, and genders. The treatment of eating disorders has evolved to address increased risk among groups including members of the LGBTQIA+ community, trauma survivors, and those with a family history of eating disorders.
The representation of eating disorders in the media has skewed the public view of eating disorders; however, it is well supported in scientific research and accepted within the field that eating disorders affect people of all shapes, sizes, and weights. As no two individual’s experiences are exactly alike, neither are any two eating disorders. Often, a preoccupation with food and body is a way to manage overwhelming feelings, life stressors, and past or current traumas. Eating disorder professionals work together with clients to more effectively and healthily manage and cope with the emotions, stressors, and adversity they face. Recovering from an eating disorder requires significant commitment and effort, however the rewards of recovery are invaluable and immeasurable.
Eating Disorders are multi-faceted issues, and effective treatment often requires structured, specialized and multidisciplinary care. As a clinical professional, I have experience at the PHP and IOP levels of care providing individual, family, and group therapy with Eating Disorders, Complex-PTSD, and co-occurring disorders. I also hold extensive experience running psycho-educational, DBT/CBT/ACT, body image, experiential, art therapy, meal support, and processing groups. I also conduct level of care assessments and experienced with the process of transitioning from residential level of care to PHP, IOP, transitional living facilities, or outpatient levels of care.
Contact me for a free initial assessment or a level of care evaluation.
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